Aboriginal lands parliamentary standing committee


Mr DULUK (Waite) (11:39): I also rise to make a few small comments in relation to the noting of this report on the review into the operation of the Aboriginal Lands Trust Act 2013. I certainly do not want to repeat the words of the member for Narungga or the member for Giles, who I think have covered very well the committee's intentions and its management, but I would like to look at some of the recommendations. I would urge members to look at the recommendations of this committee.

A strong theme from many of the witnesses who came before the committee was the autonomy of decision-making in their communities, and I think that is something that all members of parliament can appreciate. People in general want to make decisions that they believe are in their best interest. How we as a parliament, through this particular act, can further enhance the desire of those communities for self-determination is so important.

Their sense of belonging and the way in which they navigate the world is very important to them and their communities. More importantly, a greater degree of autonomous decision-making will allow a greater level of not only independence but also financial independence to help deal with some of the disadvantage that those communities experience and which they expressed to our committee.

In particular, recommendation No. 4 encourages the government to include in the South Australian Aboriginal strategic plan the development and strengthening of Aboriginal governance structures, systems and administration for Aboriginal communities. I think that is very important. Many of the witnesses who came before the committee expressed that, in some of their communities, there is a lack of governance and a lack of trust, which is seen to be leading to a perception that Aboriginal land is not being as well managed as it should be. Those are some of the key concerns that we need to consider; that is, how the state government and the parliament look at structures of governance and provide the right training and the right framework for communities living on ALT land.

It was a very informative committee. I would like to thank everybody who came to present as witnesses, especially those members who came from the Far West Coast—from your communities, Mr Deputy Speaker—and across all of South Australia. To touch on the words of the member for Giles and the member for Narungga, I thank Shona Reid for her work as the secretary of that committee for many years. I think she was a fantastic advocate for and passionate representative of her community. I would also like to thank Dr Ashley Greenwood, the current secretary, who has picked up right where Shona Reid left off and is leading the committee in a fantastic manner.

Motion carried.